Sunday, October 14, 2012

2012 NODA Schooling Show Championships

The NODA (Northern Ohio Dressage Association) Schooling Show Championships was this weekend. Saturday was an open show, and Sunday was the Championship. You could only ride on Sunday if you qualified, which meant you needed to have two scores from two different judges above a certain percent (I’m not even sure what percent it is) at one of the NODA schooling shows. Phil and I qualified, and so did Debbie and Kaswyn. Unfortunately, Kaswyn is not 100% so he didn’t get to go.

Phil went though, and we arrived Friday afternoon to school. I had two rides on Saturday – the first one inside and the second one outside. Phil had been to schooling shows inside before, but he had never schooled or shown in that particular outside arena. 

My first attempt to school him was to just hop on and ride. Well, he was far too anxious for that. I was able to ride him, but it was super tense and ugly. So I had to put him on a lunge line and try to get him to relax. I was able to use some of the things my trainer taught me at boot camp (yes I KNOW I need to write that up) and help him relax a bit. Then I got back on and tried to school. It still wasn’t pretty, but we schooled the test. 

 It was getting dark by the time we went inside to school in there. Phil was a bit tired and much more relaxed so that went just fine. I put him to bed and headed home myself. I was pooped! 

 Saturday morning did not set a good tone for the show. First thing, I got my period. GREAT, THANKS. Then I got a call from a show friend “Hi, I just wanted to let you know that Phil’s face is bleeding.” FANTASTIC. I had a bridle rack hung over his stall, and in the process of flipping his grain bucket around while eating (which he always does) he gouged his face. Luckily for me my friends cleaned it up, and I stopped and got the Aluspray on the way to the show. Good thing he’s grey. My friend said “It looks like you glued a nickel to his forehead” cause the Aluspray is so shiny. Ah well.

I decided to lunge him again, and walk him around the arenas at lunch time. Then was out first test inside – Training Level Test 2. It went really well!


 We ended up with a 66.964% and a first place! There was a tie, but I guess our collectives were better. Second test was outside - Training Level Test 3. The judges stand was a horse trailer. Yes, Phil had seen it the night before, but he was still super nervous about the whole thing. Plus the wind was blowing and there were cars pulling in and out. Not the best situation but we managed to get through it. 64.400% and 3rd place.


 We were both tired by Sunday, the Championship. I had one ride, inside – Training Level Test 3. I lunged again, walked him around the arena at lunch, and then we were ready. He gave me such a nice test!


 Then we waited for the awards. Here is the video. I’ve never been to one of these awards so I didn’t know how they would go. We didn’t know who had won when we came into the arena. Here’s the video.


I’m so super proud of my boy! He has come so far, and is still really trying. It’s fantastic. I’m so very lucky he found me when I wasn’t even looking.


Jenflex said...

Really, really nice rides! Congratulations on a well-deserved championship.

I wondered a little about your spurs...does Phil need them? I thought I caught a couple instances where they might have been touching him when I didn't think you we're cuing him...but could just be me/low-res video/back-seat-driver syndrome. I know Phil is a worrier, so just wondered...since spurs amplify a cue, maybe he is sensitive enough where it's worth trying without?

Dressage Mom said...

Ah, the spurs. There is a story there, I just haven't gotten around to explaining it. You're right to question it, for sure, since he is certainly sensitive. I assure you - they make a world of difference. More on that later!

Laura said...

Aww congratulations! He is so gorgeous and I love the colour of his tail!!

GraceEquestrian said...

Phil has such unique markings on his face. He looks beautiful!

Katie said...

Congrats! I really can't believe that this is the same horse you started out with just a little while ago.

Val said...

I have only watched the Training 2 test so far, but I can already see that Phil looks amazing! He is really reaching into the bridle and using his whole back. You should be really proud of all your hard work!

Brianna Bowling said...

You do a great job of writing candidly about the struggles of being wife, mother, employee and dressage rider. I enjoy your posts! I started writing a blog on my journey with dressage - if you have a few moments (hah!) - I'd love to get some comments from you on ways I can improve my blog and make it as good as yours.
Thanks for sharing your journey!

Corinna said...

Awesome! Congratulations! He is a stunning boy; I always melt at such a striking grey. Happy to have found you in the blog world!

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